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Seven: Father & Son

It's not time to make a change,

Just relax, take it easy.

This post is not about that song, sorry. :)

We had our cluster upper household this evening and the discussion was about the relationship Jesus had with God the Father and our own experience of that "Father & Son" relationship.

I remember a story shared by a priest during a recollection. He was sent to Mindanao for mission and during one of his sessions with the youth, he noticed a young girl who seemed different from the others. After their activity, all the participants left the hall but that young girl stayed. It was during their conversation when the priest learned that the girl never felt the love of a father. And so she was never close to God. She once tried to enter the church and kneel before Him but all she saw was the threatening image of her father.

When I heard that story, I felt blessed to have a father who, despite his imperfections, has introduced me well to our Father in heaven. But before there was Papa, there was Lolo Amen (Mama's father).

Lolo Amen (Benjamin) was my favorite lolo (because during that time, I haven't met my other lolo yet) and I was his favorite apo (grandchild). I just don't say it, I feel it too. And my feelings have been validated by my aunts and uncles. Mama said I was the only person Lolo Amen ever cooked for. Lucky me! :) To me he was the biggest inspiration, the most influential mentor, and the number 1 fan. I love him as much as, if not more than I love Papa, and my parents are aware of that. I was simply a "Lolo's girl."

On April 13, 2001 (Good Friday, Friday the 13th), Lolo joined our Creator. He was 78. Had he reached 80, he would have gone to Manila to witness my high school graduation. It had been planned. Everything had been settled already. But God had other plans. He took away Lolo two years before my graduation. Until now, that remains to be the saddest day of my life. That was my first heartbreak. And that was the hardest to deal with.

But God is so good that little by little, He revealed to us why He had to take Lolo away. The reason is love.

It is written in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world. He gave us His only Son." The Son came not to live but to die for our salvation.

Lolo died to save Papa. It's hard to explain and I won't even try, but that is the reality we have come to accept, and that is the reality we will live with forever.

Because of Lolo's sacrifice, I still have a complete family, and though I lost him, I can still feel his presence and hear his wisdom through Papa. Lolo and Papa may be two different people but they both have become a father to me. They are both an image of God. And the kind of relationship that I have now with God the Father pretty much reflects the kind of relationship I have with them - a loving and fruitful one; not based on fear but on respect, not on authority, but on love.

If what's written on the above photo is true, then I am a both a son and a daughter. Because my father (Lolo & Papa) is both my first hero and my first love. 

They say there are only a few good men left. I'm overly blessed to have known some of the few - Lolo, Papa, and my brother (Arnold). :)

I thank God for these men in my life - men who have introduced me to the Father and His Son; men who have taught me what true love is. :)

My first hero. Lolo Amen. :)

My first love. Papa. :)

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